When a helicopter crashed in a densely populated part of London around 8am today, next to one of the busiest trainlines in Europe and a large bus station, the news was always going to be broken, within seconds, by members of the public on Twitter, armed with camera phones.
Twitter user Craig Jenner was one of the first to put a picture on Twitter which was shared far and wide:
What happened next is indicative of the way the media are increasingly playing catch-up on such stories, moving from reporting to aggregating (or curating, if you must) - images, eye-witness accounts and videos. Journalists were asking to use the picture with a credit and were trying to get Jenner on the phone:
The problem for newsdesks with a story breaking far and wide on social media the very second something happens is it creates an even longer news vacuum for the media to fill with comment and speculation before facts come in.
The race to get on air and the desire to give the impression the story is developing all the time is more aggressive than ever.
Cue "aviation experts" and eye-witnesses being asked to speculate on what they saw.
In this climate of rapid newsgathering, conflicting accounts and mistaken reports abound and spread very quickly. One eye-witness interviewed on camera praised the emergency services for being on the scene in under a minute. Another said it was 15 minutes.
A lot is taken on faith when putting people on camera who claim to have witnessed an event.
Inevitably, some media outlets were also quick to start asking about terrorism. Naturally, they were just keen to rule it out but it's unclear who was trying to rule it in. Certainly reporting that 'Police believe it is not an act of terrorism' carries a higher degree of sensationalism than saying 'Police believe it was an accident'.
And even after terrorism was ruled out a BBC journalist on the scene was still keen to ask an eye witness if they thought it might have been a terrorist attack:
BBC journalist: "Did you think it was a terrorist attack...?"
He wasn't the only talking head not playing ball this morning. Asked to speculate on what may have happened, an aviation expert told the BBC:
"There's far too much speculation at the moment..."